Technical Committee: Current Areas of Work


TC-ASR proposed the Healthy Ears, Limited Annoyance (HELA) Initiative in Section 7.4 of AES Technical Document AESTD1007.1.20-05. Healthy Ears indicates a commitment to preserving healthy hearing for all individuals at an event (whether they are working, volunteering or in attendance). Limited Annoyance focuses on the off-site community, striving to avoid excessive annoyance due to noise pollution. Limited is used as it is understood that it is impossible to avoid all annoyance. Limiting noise-based annoyance as much as practical must be the target. The acronym, HELA, is a play on a common slang term used in California, “hella”, meaning very. In this case, any member of the initiative would be considered HELA-compliant (read: very compliant).

This initiative follows a two-pronged approach where it would support (A) research targeting the fundamental gaps in knowledge as identified in Sections 7.1 – 7.3 of the Technical Document and (B) essential education for all key live event stakeholders.

Work is currently underway in area (B) to develop an online certification program with external delivery partners. This will be based on the findings and recommendations from AES Technical Document AESTD1007.1.20-05 and the WHO Global Standard on Safe LIstening Venues and Events.

The research behind the AES Technical Document and the WHO Global Standard revealed significant variances in sound-level management practices and attitudes across the globe. Although both documents outline currently accepted best practices, it is unreasonable to expect key stakeholders within live events including, but not limited to, live sound engineers, venue management, musicians, acoustical consultants, event promoters, equipment manufacturers, booking agents, and educators (at large) to read and understand these documents (which both exceed 100 pages).

An opportunity exists to introduce a formal benchmark in professional practice for those seeking employment, or currently working within, the live event sector. Along with the potential benefits to public health and safety, the scheme will help promote improved professionalization across the industry. The certification scheme has the potential to make a real difference in terms of realizing reductions in exposure to dangerously high sound levels, as is the aim of the WHO Global Standard.

The working group for the HELA certification scheme includes:

  • Jon Burton (University of Derby, UK)
  • Adam Hill (University of Derby, UK)
  • Marcel Kok (dBcontrol, Netherlands)
  • Alex Krasnic (Vanguardia, UK)
  • Michael Lawrence (Rational Acoustics, USA)
  • Heather Malyuk (Soundcheck Audiology, USA)
  • Jos Mulder (Australian National University, Australia)
  • Elena Shabalina (d&b audiotechnik, Germany)
  • Laura Sinnott (Sound Culture, USA)

The HELA certification scheme is planned for launch in 2024.


TC-ASR published an AES Technical Document in May 2020 on sound exposure and noise pollution at large-scale outdoor music events. The document can be accessed here.

The contributors to this document were:

  • Chris Beale (SPLtrack, UK)
  • Durand Begault (Charles M. Salter Associates, USA)
  • Jon Burton (University of Derby, UK)
  • Etienne Corteel (L-Acoustics, France)
  • Christian Frick (Rocket Science, Switzerland)
  • Jim Griffiths (Vanguardia, UK)
  • Adam Hill (University of Derby, UK)
  • Marcel Kok (dBcontrol, Netherlands)
  • Michael Lawrence (Rational Acoustics, USA)
  • Bob McCarthy (Meyer Sound, USA)
  • Johannes Mulder (Australian National University, Australia)
  • Kees Neervoort (Event Acoustics, Netherlands)
  • Elena Shabalina (d&b audiotechnik, Germany)
  • Andy Wardle (University of the Highlands & Islands, UK)

The aim of this group was to develop a set of recommendations outlining what needs to be done to address the issue of sound exposure and noise pollution due to outdoor events, with an emphasis on practicality and preservation of a good audience experience.

The document is due for an update in 2025. Please get in touch with one of the TC-ASR chairs/vice-chairs if you are interested in contributing.

  • Track and recommend standards development for audio networking
  • Assemble and organize workshops and other AES convention activities related to audio networking
  • Parametric Multi-Channel/Multi-Object Audio Coding
  • Coding of 3D Audio Signals
  • Low Delay General Audio Coding
  • Combined Audio/Speech Coding
  • AI-Based Methods for Perceptual Audio Coding
  • Continuous work on the Web Editionof the TC’s popular educational tutorial package Perceptual Audio Coders – What to Listen for with an extended artifact inventory, enhanced presentation & playback on mobile devices and PCs, see Audio Coding Artifacts Tutorial section further down on this page.
  • Perceptual evaluation of spatial sound fields
  • Multi-dimensional testing and statistics (everything beyond just basic audio quality)
  • Head phone testing
  • Speech intelligibility

The Technical Committee of Recording Technology and Practices is in continuous communication with the Producer’s and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy in several areas.

In the area of Master Delivery Recommendations, we support a best practices document that is released to both the AES and the Recording Academy constituencies.

Other current work includes similar documents relating to high resolution audio and immersive music production.

At this moment the TCMA is providing input for workshops, tutorials, etc. to be held in conjunction with society conventions.

  • Whitepaper for Frequency Response, Max SPL and Impulsive Distortion measurement
  • Automotive loudspeaker measurements
  • Common best practice
  • Presented at virtual AES conference along with the Loudspeakers and Headphone TC committee and World Heath Organization on safety and concert sound levels
  • Organizing a 4th International AES Conference on Hearing and Hearing Loss Prevention. Anticipated Date: May 2024
  • Organized presentation of World Health Organizations Listen Safe Initiative at Vienna 2020
  • Member Michael Santucci AuD lectured the inaugural conference for Mastering Engineers on safe listening and hearing wellness strategies.
  • To extend knowledge of audio forensic practice and techniques world-wide
  • To identify areas requiring additional research
  • To bring together professionals and students in the area of audio forensics
  • To encourage publication of papers, and to arrange tutorials, conferences and workshops, within the AES
  • To support standards committees on forensic audio via fostering of refereed journal publications
  • Cinema Loudness:
    Following the initial conclusions of much expert debate and the results of a number of surveys, AES TC-AC is currently bringing together work-in-progress straw-man presentation document that aims to define the problem of inappropriate loudness in cinema with the view to canvas input from key stakeholders and obtain buy-in on what the most effective step-by-step remedies might be in.
  • Papers sessions
  • Workshops
  • Symposiums
  • Identify trends
Choose your country of residence from this list:

Skip to content